Cheap Garage Flooring
Besides organizing all the clutter that somehow seems to build up in the garage (see our article on wooden garage shelving), there is nothing like a new floor to turn a dark, grungy garage into a place you'll love to drive home to. If you are looking for cheap garage flooring we would like to present the following four basic options: rubber flooring, PVC roll- out flooring, PVC tiles, and epoxy floor coverings.
1) Rubber flooring. This is the most inexpensive option, but is only realistic if you're converting your garage into a playroom, workout room, storage shed, etc. It is very easy to install, provides insulation, and has a cushioning surface so that when baby falls of the mini-slide (or Dad falls off the bench press), you don't have to worry about any serious injuries. But if you're intending to use your garage as, well, a garage, then rubber flooring is not the way to go. First of all, it has very little resistance to petroleum products, which means that oil leaks could do serious damage to the floor. Second, its melting point is very low, which means that extreme tire heat could be enough to melt the tires into the flooring. That means that your car will be glued stuck to your floor, which is a lot less than half the fun.
2) Roll-out PVC flooring. These are also known as mats. They're slightly more expensive than rubber flooring, but the difference can be amazing! They are durable and very easy to clean; because they require no flooring adhesive, even messy jobs like oil leaks can be taken care of in minutes - just pick up the mats and hose them off!! They come in a variety of colors, and generally have either a coin or ribbed pattern, giving your garage that glossy showroom look without the time and mess involved with an epoxy floor. One example of this type of cheap garage flooring is the G-Floor by Better Life Technologies, LLC. All you have to do is roll it out and cut the edges with a utility knife. You can even overlap the mats for a seamless look. The floors come in a variety of standard widths, and custom widths are available as well - they just cost more and have a longer lead time.
3) PVC Tiles. These are a bit more time consuming than roll-out floors, but if you're looking for a really designer garage, they might be the answer. PVC tiles are somewhat thicker than the mats, and they can be purchased in a variety of patterns and colors to create gorgeous floor designs without the lengthy preparation and installation time needed for an epoxy floor. Like the PVC roll-out flooring, they require no adhesives or special tools, other than a saw to trim the edges. There are just two things to watch out for. One, make sure that you buy interlocking tiles (not ones that you lay down one next to the other) to avoid having seams in your floor every 12 inches or so. Two, since the tiles are thicker than the mats, they can get dented. Some tiles, however, are self-correcting, meaning that most dents will repair themselves within a day or two. So if that perfect look is important to you, ask whether the tiles you're looking at will self-correct, or not.
4) Epoxy flooring. This is the most expensive and complicated of our cheap garage flooring options. Epoxy coatings provide the ultimate in protection and can be absolutely stunning. However, due to their complicated installation, they should be undertaken only by professionals or very experienced do-it-yourselfers. First of all, the garage floor must be absolutely clean of any and all grease or dirt, or the epoxy won't stick. Secondly, if it does scratch or chip, it's an extremely difficult and lengthy job to scrape it up and reapply (unlike tiles or mats that can be easily removed and reinstalled). If you do decide on an epoxy floor, make sure you do your homework very thoroughly. There are a lot of bad epoxy products out there, and you don't want to invest all that time, money and energy only to end up with a floor that looks worse than when you started! One major epoxy manufacturer maintains that 20%-50% of all homeowner-installed epoxy projects fail, largely due to improper installation. So be careful.
But the most important thing is that, whichever cheap garage flooring option you choose, you should use it in good health - and enjoy!!